Last week I updated on the first module of the Strategic Command Course, but the week just passed has eclipsed the experience of the first three. No contest, hands down win.
Together with 3 other colleagues from #scc13 I’ve had the pleasure of working for St Giles Trust (SGT) this week. You can follow them on Twitter here, or check out their website here. SGT is doing inspirational work in breaking the cycle of re-offending. The centre piece, or crown jewel, of SGT’s work is their peer advisor programme. Reformed ex-offenders receive top quality training to give support to others leaving prison. If you were in any doubt about whether this type of intervention works, check out the economic analysis and evaluations on their website.
I’ve met so many inspirational people this week at all levels within SGT. In policing we often debate the values of the organisational and how to live up to them. Well in SGT the values are tangible from the moment you walk through the door, or meet an advisor at the prison gate. The willingness to go ‘above and beyond’ to actively support the best needs of their clients was clearly evident. We also heard lots about the most senior leaders ‘going into bat’ in support staff and volunteers. It was such a welcoming organisation, with optimism and ambition.
The Chief Executive of St Giles Trust, Rob Owen, set us a challenge of how to go about taking the best of their approach, which operates predominantly in London, to other parts of the UK. Having set up in Leeds and Cardiff they have a clear ambition to expand and help many more families benefit from the services they offer. As SGT put it – changing lives one at a time. The challenge is timely, following the introduction of Police & Crime Commissioners, and the forthcoming Rehabilitation Revolution. I’d need a whole new blog to cover the later.
So having interviewed around 30 people this week, from service users to government officials, potential competitors to consultants, we delivered our findings this morning. They were met with openness and healthy debate. I just hope that in 5 short days we were able to offer some added value. However, what is clear is that I’ve learnt a huge amount and had an experience that will stay with me for a long time.